Daily Tip: How to turn off Locations Services for iPhone, iPad

Paranoid about your location being known and curious how to turn off any iPhone tracking that might be going on?Location Services can be a really nice feature to have when you want to geotag a photo, checkin to a game, use turn-by-turn navigation, or find a nearby restaurant. Privacy, however, is a really important issue and sometimes it is better to switch this service off just in case. This can be done very easily, you can turn off all Location Services completely or choose which applications can access them.  It is very simple to do and we show you how, after the break!

Here’s how to change Location Services options.

Turn off all Location Services

  1. Tap on your Settings icon on the home screen
  2. Tap on Location Services
  3. To turn all Location Services off, toggle the slider at the top into the off position and that’s it done.

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Turn Off Location Services on a per app basis

  1. Click on your Settings icon on the home screen
  2. Click on Location Services
  3. Scroll down and you will see a list of all your apps that use Location Services
  4. Using the toggle switch to the right of each app, select if you want it on or off and that’s it done.

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Some of the apps will have the Location Services symbol displayed next to them; it looks like an arrow head pointing North East. This tells you which apps have requested location information in the last 24 hours.

It  really is that simple! If you have any other good Location Services tips, let us know in the comments!

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UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

  • Just saying the government has the power and resources to track you via satliate if they really wanted to. They did that to find Sudam as with other terrorist groups. So to be honest you are always tracked.
  • @Chris: When you turn ALL location services off, does the phone still record your location as it was discovered recently?
  • Yes, it still records your location based on tower triangulation. This means your location with a margin of error of maybe a mile at all times is being stored. Location Services only refers to GPS location pinpointing.
  • I am not so sure that's correct. I was listening to a Mac podcast where this was discussed. The host mentioned that it only collects information when Location services are used. He verified this by turning on location services and querying the database (no sure if he used the GUI on the web or not). He found entries in the DB. He then turnoff Location services, traveled around, then opened the file again and found no further (new) entries.
  • The color of the iPhone's box is more important than this topic. :roll:
  • I'm with you here. This is a BIG deal. For everyone -- not just cheaters or criminals. But good luck convincing anyone.
  • All cell phones of any kind will locate you via internal through the carrier. All android phones also do this. The only time it will not, if the device is powered off. Everyone worries too much about this.
  • This is common knowledge, but do all the other cell phones actually record and list all of your locations in an easily accessible data file??
    I love my iPhone 4, and I'm not paranoid, but I could have done without this needless "feature".
  • I think the funniest part about the smartphone-tracking controversy is ANY phone can track your location. Even the cheapest pre pay phone available has a radio in it that can tell almost exactly where you are, in case you call an emergency number and the call gets cut off you'll still be found.
    Granted, smartphones crank this feature up to the 11, letting you access the location services as well.
  • Bet its that Crackle app that made you look at turning it off. I did the same as that gps tracking triangle wouldn't go away when exiting app.
  • Paranoid people should get a prepaid regular phone.
  • Which can still be tracked via cellular tower triangulation. The only solution is to not use cell phones at all. I don't understand what the big deal is, with a court order people could always get the same information from your cellular carrier. The only difference for smartphones is that it's now cached locally to speed up the location-finding process for applications that use location services. The fact that the information is sent to Google/Apple is clearly spelled out in the EULA and terms of service if anybody bothered to read them, and Android even warns you about the privacy concern if you enable wireless location services.
  • I don't have the choice to turn off location services as I don't have that bar when I click on settings what to do? I want to turn them off! iPhone 4 dunno the os
  • It's a good tip but mine doesnt work at all, can't turn off location services or add or take off any individual ones....so I still stuck :(
  • My phone is the same I can't change any location settings can anyone help ????
  • I just updated to in iPhone 4s and can't turn off location services either. Planning to call apple tomorrow
  • Did you get an answer as to why it didn't turn off location services? I'm having sMe problem. Thanks
  • When I toggle Location Service button ON for specific apps the toggle button automatically turns OFF How do I get Toggle to stay ON permanently?